6 constructive uses for your bonus

For those of you who get that 13th check, it may seem like an extra present that you can spoil yourself with during the festive season. Perhaps it goes towards that big family Christmas party or one or two elaborate gifts.

Eunice Sibiya, the head of FNB’s Consumer Education Program at FNB says that many people end up regretting the way they spend their 13th check .

What is worrisome is that a large potion of [your bonus] goes towards entertainment. That's what we need to correct. We have other pressing matters, financially, that need to be taken care of.

Eunice Sibiya, head of FNB’s Consumer Education Program at FNB

To put your bonus to more constructive uses, here are 6 things Sibiya recommends.

1. Catch up on any missed payments

If you have any outstanding payments, your bonus would be better spent by covering these.

2. Pay extra to your bond

A lump sum payment into your bond can make a significant difference in the long term. It will reduce the amount of interest you'll pay and the number of years you pay too.

3. Significantly reduce your debt

If you have a clothing account, credit card or any loans that need to be settled, then use your bonus and reduce these debts. Be careful not to tap into these credit facilities again once you've paid it off. You'll just end up in a cycle of debt.

Eunice Sibiya, head of FNB’s Consumer Education Program at FNB

4. Bolster your emergency savings

You should be saving three months of your income in an emergency savings account for unexpected expenses or circumstances. Rather use you bonus to add to this fund.

5. Pay your insurance premiums upfront for the year

If you pay your premiums for the year, you open up your disposable income for the rest of the year.

6. Increase your retirement savings

Take care of your future self by adding to your retirement fund.

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